Spondylosis refers to a degenerative condition that is also known as spinal osteoarthritis.

It can affect any part of the spine – from cervical (neck) to thoracic (mid back) to lumbar (low back) to lumbosacral (low back/sacrum) – but is most common in the neck and low back.

Spondylosis is caused by joint instability in the spine that occurs because of degeneration in the disc and the facet joints. It is primarily related to the natural aging process and may worsen as an individual grows older.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, spondylosis affects about 75% of people over the age of 60.

Characteristic symptoms of spondylosis include back or neck pain, inflammation, stiffness, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, tingling and numbness, and decreased mobility.

If left untreated, spondylosis can lead to a similar condition, called spondylolisthesis, which occurs when the vertebra slides forward out of its correct position.

Initial treatment for spondylosis at Lancaster Orthopedic Group is always conservative, and is aimed at reducing pain and returning you to normal function.

Your spine specialists may recommend modification of activities, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy to improve flexibility and muscle strength. In more severe cases, a brace or back support may help stabilize the lower back.

Early treatment of cervical, lumbar and lumbosacral spondylosis often results in the best outcomes.